TWENTY members of the Sibalom Police Station and the Antique Police Provincial Office (APPO) Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU) were accused of murder for the death of a Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-6 agent in an anti-narcotics operation last June 20, 2017.
Atty. Max Salvador, National Bureau of Investigation 6 (NBI-6) regional director, confirmed that they filed a murder case against Senior Inspector Clark Philip Dinco and 19 of his subordinates.
Salvador told ABS-CBN Iloilo that the case was filed last week before the Antique Provincial Prosecutors Office.
“Well, if you kill a person that is a homicide. If you’re a law enforcer, it’s murder. If you say self defense so be it,” he said in the interview.
Salvador said their investigation showed probable cause in filing a murder case against the police personnel involved in the death of PDEA agent Macario Grasparil.
“I don’t know if it’s well planned but evidence gathered show that it is going that way,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dinco said in an interview Oct 11, 2017 that they have yet to receive any official document relative to the murder case.
“Actually, ang nalaman ko po ay nag file na sila ng murder case pero as of now po wala pa naman kaming na-re-receive. Inaantay ko din po para makapag counter kami,” he said in a text message.
When asked if they were surprised over the filing of the case, “No, not at all. Kakambal na ng pulis na nagta trabaho ang magkakaso,” he added.
Further, “lalo pa’t malaking tao ‘tong pamilya ni Cayo (Grasparil). Sabi nga nila sa presscon nila ay prominente sila ‘di ba? Syempre gagamitin nila ‘yung lahat ng koneksyon na meron sila para mapalabas na inosente si Cayo.”
But Dinco stressed that the people of Sibalom and the whole Antique knew Grasparil’s personality and his alleged connection with illegal drugs.
‘NINJA’ PDEA AGENT?
Immediately after Grasparil’s death, Sibalom PNP accused the slain agent of being involved in the recycling of seized illegal drugs.
Macario Grasparil, who was in his 40s, and resident of District 1, Sibalom, Antique, was killed in an operation led by Sibalom PNP and Antique PDEU 4:15 p.m. of June 20 at Barangay San Juan.
Based on PNP records, Grasparil was on their watch list as a high-value target (HVT).
Dinco claimed that Grasparil sold shabu supplied by the Prevendido Drug Group.
The group’s leader, Richard Prevendido, who was tagged as Western Visayas’ top drug personality, was also killed in a police operation Sept. 1, 2017.
Based on police reports, Grasparil allegedly agreed to sell shabu worth P500 to an undercover police.
As the policeman’s back-up came in to arrest him, Grasparil allegedly pulled a caliber .357 revolver.
Dinco said policemen had no recourse but to neutralize the PDEA member who died on the scene.
Recovered from his possession was a sling bag with a Glock 17 pistol with four magazines and an eyeglasses pouch containing 11 sachets of shabu.
Levi Ortiz, then PDEA-6 assistant regional director, confirmed that Grasparil was an active PDEA agent.
Ortiz said at that time that they received reports of Grasparil’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
He also claimed that they investigated the slain agent but there was not enough evidence to pin him down.
“Because he knew he was on the watchlist, he sought an audience with Gen. Gentiles because he wanted to clear his name,” Ortiz said.
Gen. Gentiles refers to Chief Superintendent Jose Gentiles, then regional director of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6).
Ortiz said they did not stop there.
“I gave him a tasking to go after Prevendido,” he added.
Ortiz said Grasparil was instrumental in the arrest of Bonie Prevendido Gregori and helped in the case build-up against slain drug lord Melvin Odicta.
Gregori was caught in a buy bust operations early morning of Nov. 4, 2016 at Barangay Camandagan, a hinterland Barangay some 15 kilometers away from Tobias Fornier town proper in Antique province.
Gregori, son of Barangay Captain Remia Gregori of Bakhaw, Mandurriao, Iloilo City, is the nephew of Richard Prevendido.
Gregori is said to be the second in command of the Prevendido Drug Group.
When asked on his reaction immediately after Grasparil’s death, Ortiz said he could not comment since he was not around during the actual operation.
“Although there are questions that puzzle me. First, alam nya naman na nasa watchlist sya. Who was in his right mind na mag-engage pa?” he quipped.
Second, Grasparil had been instrumental in the case build-up against the Prevendido and Odicta drug groups.
“If he’s into illegal drugs, why would he still seek audience with the highest ranking police officer in Western Visayas (Gentiles)?” Ortiz said.
Even then, Ortiz said he would ask the NBI, through Grasparil’s family, for the conduct of an impartial investigation surrounding his death.
Grasparil was the 30th fatality in Western Visayas since the government started its aggressive anti-illegal drugs campaign in July 2016.